3rd International Symposium on Tin Whiskers (2009)

June 23-24, 2009

Technical Unversity of Denmark
Building 101
Lyngby, Denmark


Tin whiskers present a unique challenge to the electronics industry. There have been numbers of electronics failures in the market caused by tin whiskers since 1940s. After 2000, as a result of the global transition to lead-free electronics, the majority of the electronic component manufacturers are now using pure tin or tin-rich alloys for terminal and lead finishes. The increased used of tin based lead-free finishes and materials, focused concern and research on tin whiskers particular for long life and mission critical applications, such as space, aviation, and implantable medical devices. A tin whisker is a conductive tin crystal, which can spontaneously grow from tin based lead-free finished surfaces even at room temperature, often in a needle-like form. Oxidation in humid atmosphere, corrosion, intermetallic formation, stress under thermal cycling, external pressure in fine pitch connectors and electromigration have been shown to promote whisker formation. However, acceleration models for whisker growth are very limited or not existent. Tin whisker studies are being conducted by universities, companies and research organizations. Whisker research includes examining the fundamentals of whisker growth, the influence of the plating process, the influence of materials sets, the environmental stress drivers, methods for estimating whisker failure risk, and strategies for mitigating whisker failure risk. The goal of this symposium is to bring together the worlds experts, in the field of tin whiskers to discuss the state of research on tin whiskers. This symposium will cover case histories, theories of tin whisker growth, experiments and results, risk evaluation methods and risk mitigation strategies. Attendees will be able to discuss the current state of knowledge on the growth, risk and mitigation strategies, whereby they can develop effective qualification and mitigation procedures for their products. All attendees are free to join us in this symposium.

Organized by

Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (ISIR), Osaka University
Technical University of Denmark
Surface Mount Technology Association


Dr. Michael Osterman, CALCE, University of Maryland, osterman@calce.umd.edu
Prof. Michael Pecht, CALCE, University of Maryland, pecht@calce.umd.edu
Dr. Katsuaki Suganuma, ISIR Osaka University, Japan, suganuma@sanken.osaka-u.ac.jp
Dr. Rajan Ambat, Technical University of Denmark, ram@mek.dtu.dk
Melissa Serres Marx, Surface Mount Technology Association, melissa@smta.org

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Day I-Session I
Welcome / Introduction
Michael Osterman, CALCE
Rajan Ambat, DTU/CERCORR
Whisker Research Efforts and Findings by JEITA
Prof. Katsuaki Suganuma, Osaka
Whiskers: An ESA Perspective
Barrie Dunn, ESA
Day I-Session II
Evaluation of Tin Whisker Growth in Vacuumed Thermal Cycling Conditions
Norio Nemoto, JAXA
Effect of Grain Size on Pressure-Induced Tin Whisker Formation
Dr. Tadahiro Shibutani, Yokohama National University
The Influence of the Flux Content and Circumstances on Whisker Growth at the Solder Fillet
Minoru Ueshima, Senju Metals
Day I-Session III
Tin Whisker and Surface Defect Formation on Electroplated Films and Reflowed Joints
Prof. Carol Handwerker, Purdue University
Driving Force for Whisker Formation on Sn Thin Films
Matthias Sobiech, Max Planck Institute for Metals Research
Superior, Whisker-Reduced Immersion Tin Technology with Organic Nanometal
Nils Arendt, Enthone Inc.
Day I-Session IV
Simultaneous and Time- Resolved Measurement of Stress in Sn and Sn-Cu Electrodeposits Using Cantilever Beams and X-ray Diffraction
Dr. Maureen Williams, NIST
Zinc Whiskers from Electrodeposited Films
Dr Geoffrey D. Wilcox, Loughborough University
The Relationship between Composition and Tin Whisker Formation in Sn-Cu-Pb Electroplated Tin Films
Pylin Sarobol, Purdue University
Day II- Session I
Tin Whisker Test Methods and Findings
Dr. Michael Osterman, CALCE
Measuring the Mitigation Capability of Conformal Coatings
Dr. Chris Hunt, NPL
Evaluation of Conformal Coating for Mitigation of Tin Whisker Growth
Tsuyoshi Nakagawa, Nippon Avionics Co.
Tin Whisker Containment and Environmental Protection with Flexible Ceramic Conformal Coatings
Ofer Sneh, Sundew
Day II -Session II
Tin Whisker Mitigation using Robotic Hot Solder Dip
Joseph Zaccari, Corfin
Effectiveness of Solder Dipping in Mitigating Tin Whiskers
Dr. Michael Ostermna, CALCE
Day II -Session III
Developing an Empirical Model for Estimating the Probability of Electrical Short Circuits from Tin Whiskers Part II
Dr. Karim Courey, NASA
Electrical Shorting Potential of Tin Whiskers
Dr. Michael Osterman, CALCE

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